india-death-penalityIran: The Islamic Republic of Iran has executed two young homosexuals on March 2 in their state prison in Rasht, Iran Press News reported.

The two gay men aged 28 and 30 were executed in the city of Rasht in the Iranian province of Gilan. They were inmates of Rasht Central Prison.

Iran Press News quoted General Rahimi Mdyrrvabt, head of the justice department of Rasht, as making the announcement.

The report translated from the Persian to English by Google Translate had the headline “Two young homosexuals were executed in prison in Rasht.” It mentioned Rahimi as saying that the two men were “guilty of unlawful acts.”

Of the Islamic states that ban lesbian and gay sex, Iran is the most zealously homophobic. Since 1980, when the current Islamic regime came to power under the leadership of Ayatollah Khomeini, over 4,000 lesbians and gay men have been executed, according to estimates by the exiled Iranian homosexual rights group, Homan, that appeared in

In the early 1980’s, for example, 70 people were executed after they attempted to set up a lesbian and gay organization. Nearly 100 homosexuals were sentenced to death in 1992 following a raid on a private party, reported.

Any type of sexual activity outside a heterosexual marriage is forbidden, says the well documented “LGBT rights in Iran” page on

It reported that in a November 2007 meeting with his British counterpart, Iranian member of parliament Mohsen Yahyavi admitted that Iran believes in the death penalty for homosexuality. According to Yahyavi, gays deserve to be tortured, executed, or both.

On March 15, 2005, the daily newspaper Etemaad reported that the Tehran Criminal Court sentenced two men to death following the discovery of a video showing them engaged in homosexual acts. Another two men were allegedly hanged publicly in the northern town of Gorgan for sodomy in November 2005.

In July 2006 two youths were hanged for “sex crimes” in north-eastern Iran, probably consensual homosexual acts. On November 16, 2006, the State-run news agency reported the public execution of man convicted of sodomy in the western city of Kermanshah, said

Homosexuality is a crime punishable by imprisonment, corporal punishment, or in some cases of ‘sodomy’, even execution. Gay men have faced stricter enforcement actions under the law than lesbians.

However,  Iran insists that it does not execute people for homosexuality, and that homosexuals who have been executed have either committed rape, murder, or drug trafficking, according to the page.